Apple Buys FoundationDB To Improve Apps, Software - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
3/25/2015
01:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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Apple Buys FoundationDB To Improve Apps, Software

By acquiring FoundationDB, a database startup, Apple could incorporate the technology in order to improve the performance of key apps and software services.

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Apple has bought a start-up company that makes super quick database technology. The acquisition of FoundationDB points to Apple's desire to smooth out some of its software services, which have a knack for being flakey.

FoundationDB is a startup based in Virginia, and founded by CEO David Rosenthal, COO Nick Lavezzo, and Dave Scherer in 2009. It created a way for databases to blast through staggering amounts of data at incredible speeds in a way that's cost efficient. Running databases is no simple affair, nor is it cheap.

What probably caught Apple's eye is FoundationDB's ability to parse ACID-compliant transactions at an enormous scale. According to TechCrunch, which was first to report the acquisition on March 24, FoundationDB offers licenses for 480 cores (via AWS) complete with 24/7 support for $150 per hour. It can complete about 54 billion writes per hour.

Apple confirmed the purchase but didn't say what it intends to do with the company. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," a company spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this month CEO Tim Cook said Apple has purchased 23 companies in the last 15 months. The bulk of these acquisitions were of small start-ups.

FoundationDB did not provide any comments of its own, and it has ceased selling licenses for its software.

With no official word from Apple about how it intends to fold FoundationDB into its own offerings, speculation has focused on its cloud-based apps and services. Peter Goldmacher, who works for FoundationDB competitor Aerospike told the Journal, "This type of database technology lets companies process information at high speed without incurring the typical huge costs for computer servers and the people to run them. FoundationDB’s technology could boost the efficiency of Apple services like iMessage, which delivers text messages, and iAd, which places digital ads on mobile devices."

TechCrunch surmises FoundationDB's technology might be put to work the App Store, iTunes Connect, or iTunes in the Cloud.

[Read about Salesforce and the Apple Watch.]

Apple has shipped more than one billion iOS devices -- iPhones, iPads, and iPods -- all of which use Apple's cloud-based services.

When you consider those numbers, it makes sense that Apple might want to improve the performance of its database-driven cloud products. Apple has a massive data-processing center in North Carolina that it powers with renewable energy. Earlier this year, Apple announced plans to open more data centers in Arizona and Europe. In other words, it has plenty of data to crunch and should be motivated to do so in the most efficient way possible.

Perhaps FoundationDB will help accomplish that goal.

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Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
3/31/2015 | 8:15:21 AM
Re: M&A in IT domain
"From your experience tracking most of these companies I am sure you also realize that majority of these Transactions don't produce anything concrete for either Common Shareholders or for the company Employyes in General."

Asish, it again depends up on the T&C of M&A. In many cases employees have a chance to get absorbed with the new company having high reputation and better working culture with good packages including ESOP. There is no doubt that the promoters are ultimate winners, especially with start up companies.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
3/28/2015 | 1:53:11 PM
Its tough to find a truer statement to that...
Eric,

You start your Blog with the following lines-Apple has bought a start-up company that makes super quick database technology. The acquisition of FoundationDB points to Apple's desire to smooth out some of its software services, which have a knack for being flakey.

 

I have no doubt that you won't find a truer statement than that if one looks very far when it comes to discussing Apple's Software.

I personally also feel this has a lot to do with Apple's Emerging Market Push where most Consumers have Pre-paid as against Post-Paid Mobile Connections(which is the norm in the US,Japan and Europe today).


These consumers are extremely cost-conscious and want their services to consume as little data as they can(because they are paying for it directly).If this concept works well (to fruition) then Apple will make a lot of Developing market consumers very happy and satisfied(and enable them to win a massive march over Google's Android which is a major Data Hog if ever there was one).


 

 
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
3/28/2015 | 1:43:25 PM
Re: M&A in IT domain
Gigi,

From your experience tracking most of these companies I am sure you also realize that majority of these Transactions don't produce anything concrete for either Common Shareholders or for the company Employyes in General.

The Only folks who really benefit are the Startup Owners as well as Senior Execs at the Acquiring Company(via fancy Bonuses).

Everyone else gets the short-end of the stick(so to speak).

I won't be surprised if the very samething happens here as well eventually.

Still the idea is good in theory.

Will they achieve in practice?That's a totally different story.

LOL!

 
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
3/26/2015 | 3:01:33 AM
M&A in IT domain
"Apple confirmed the purchase but didn't say what it intends to do with the company. "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," a company spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this month CEO Tim Cook said Apple has purchased 23 companies in the last 15 months. The bulk of these acquisitions were of small start-ups."

Eric, now a day's merger and acquisition are so common in industries; especially; with IT domain. One of the key reasons is their success story and domain proficiency with the startup companies. For big companies, they are acquiring a proven technology; which is ready to market or already in market. So for both parties it's like a win- win situation.
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